The Sidney Crosby- NHL- NBC Love Triangle

Matt EllenbergerCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2008

When “Sid the Kid” was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005, he was supposed to revive the NHL. Unfortunately for him, a young star named Alexander Ovechkin claimed the “face of the league” from Crosby.

NBC, however, apparently didn’t get the message.

To say the NBC hockey announcers, Mike Emrick and Ed Olczyk, respect Crosby is an absolute understatement. While Crosby is a great player and deserves the praise of the NBC commentators, he isn’t the one who “revived the NHL,” and he isn’t the best player in the league, as the NBC guys would like to think.

Crosby is undoubtedly a star in the NHL, but he plays with the third- or fourth-best player in the NHL, Evgeni Malkin. Meanwhile, Ovechkin plays for Washington with a supporting cast of Nick Backstrom and Alexander Semin.

NBC always refers to the penguins as “Sidney Crosby and the Penguins,” implying the Penguins are just a rag-tag bunch of players, and then there’s Sidney Crosby to save the day. Maybe that's because Pittsburgh is a bigger hockey market than Washington, but NBC’s bias is showing big time.

Sidney scored a whopping six goals in the playoffs, while Ovechkin scored four in 13 less games. The point I’m making isn’t that Ovechkin is a better player than Crosby, but that Crosby isn’t the main focus that drives the Pittsburgh offense.

Moreover, I’m sick of the NBC commentators going on and on about how “Crosby has worked so hard to get the Penguins into the Cup Final.”

Two issues with that:

1) It definitely wasn’t all Crosby. There were more than a few games where Fleury stood on his head to keep the Penguins in games.

2) In the infamous words of Ricky Bobby “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

Oh, and one more thing. I’m tired of the NBC guys praising Crosby for his lame, half-assed attempt at a playoff beard.